UK gas boiler to be banned in new builds from 2025!
Don’t be alarmed you won’t have to replace your gas boiler in 2025.
The heating industry is working on what is referred to as a ‘blend’ of natural gas and hydrogen. It is roughly an 80 - 20 split (80% natural gas and 20% hydrogen). If your current boiler is not ‘hydrogen’ ready a modification will be required, which should be straightforward.
Approximately 85% of UK homes use gas boilers for heating, hot water and cooking. As natural gas is a contributing factor to climate change. Therefore, you can understand the reason why there’s a need to move away from it. The truth is it accounts for more than a fifth of the UK's carbon emissions. You can understand why the UK Government is determined to move forward with low-carbon options to meet its climate target obligation.
Is the boiler ban common knowledge?
Yes, almost everyone in the UK knows about this.
In this blog post, we'll look at the impact this legislation has and will have on the heating industry in the UK. In recent years the debate has gained massive momentum and is mentioned more and more in the media. All manufactured UK boilers must comply with specific legislation. The whole purpose of it is to reduce the impact greenhouse gasses have on the planet.
The UK have committed to a net zero greenhouse emissions target by 2050. A ban on 100% natural gas boilers starting in 2025 will be a key part of the UK Government's net zero plans. Manufacturers are already designing boilers to run off hydrogen and natural gas, watch this space as to whether natural gas will be phased out completely.
In response to this global climate emergency, the UK Government, together with the world's largest economies, have concurred on the Climate Change Agreement in Paris in 2016 to mitigate global warming by 2050 through carbon neutrality.
Why are gas boilers being phased out?
On average, 95% of UK homes are centrally heated today, and the majority rely on gas or oil-fired boilers. The fact is gas and oil are fossil fuels! A byproduct of fuel combustion is carbon dioxide (CO2), which directly impacts climate change. Around 30% of the UK's total greenhouse emissions come from heating and approximately half of which comes from heating our homes.
Is it worth installing a gas boiler now?
If you have any problems with your gas boiler and it needs replacing, the answer is yes! It is worth installing a new one. We would recommend you explore the new generation of boilers that can run on a natural gas/hydrogen blend. The cost of this type of boiler may be higher than expected but when consumer take-up increases the price should reduce.
Gas boilers can be connected to a hydrogen gas supply. However, there is no legislation or policy change yet. If hydrogen-ready boilers are to be the future, the technology is already underway.
Will we stop using gas boilers?
In 2021, the government released the Heat and the Building Strategy, outlining changes to be implemented over the next few years for a more carbon-friendly environment regarding UK buildings.
The strategy is divided into two phases regarding the ban on gas boilers and is as follows;
First phase: 2025
Gas boilers will be banned in all new buildings from 2025. However, this government's rule is not yet 100% confirmed. What does that mean? To make all new builds low-carbon by 2025, the Heat and Buildings Strategy says, "the Government will advise on the termination of new connections to the gas grid".
Second phase: 2035
The heat and build strategy also aims to eliminate the installation of natural gas boilers beyond 2035. If your boiler stops working after 2035, you will need to replace it with a new gas or oil boiler with a low-carbon alternative. By 2035 there will be an abundance of heating systems available that meet emission rules and regulations.
Effects of a boiler ban on homeowners
As a homeowner and you still don't have a clear idea, don't worry! The proposed ban will only affect new build properties from 2025 onwards, which is still a proposal. No one will be affected by the ban on gas boilers yet. But anyone moving into a home built in 2025 will have to use low-carbon heating methods. The reality is that many UK homes use gas boilers for heating, and the feasibility of replacing them all with solar or heat pumps could well be unattainable for many due to cost.
Alternatives to a gas boiler
Many other developed countries are adopting effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions by using alternatives to fossil fuels for heating, transportation and power. This is like replacing our petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles. Although this transition to different heating systems may seem daunting, the result of decarbonising heating systems will contribute to the world's prosperity in the years ahead. Low-carbon heating methods will become more common and hopefully more cost-effective for homeowners.
Let's consider some of the alternative options to gas boilers in UK homes.
• Heat Pumps
Heat pumps are versatile, efficient cooling and heating systems. Simply said, an electric heat pump works like a reverse refrigerator. Let’s explain; it extracts heat from the air outside, the ground or a nearby water source and transfers it indoors before condensing the heat. You may have seen something similar outside a home, which in appearance looks like a regular air conditioning unit.
These heat pumps work best in homes that have properly insulated windows, walls and roofs etc.
There are two types of heat pumps in the market.
- Air source
- Ground source
To give some perspective, the UK has announced their ambition to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028 (watch this space).
• District heating systems
Iceland have pioneered a so-called 'district heating system?’ This is a network of underground insulated pipes that receives heat from one source and delivers it to various buildings in a specific area. The amazing thing is that streets, developments and even communities are supplied with hot water from the central geothermal plant through this type of heating system.
This method is generally best suited for highly populated areas.
• Hydrogen boiler
Switching from gas boilers to hydrogen boilers is a work in progress. What is unique? These hydrogen boilers are similar to gas boilers but burn cleaner than natural gas. The transition will be gradual and take time before all are converted.
• Infrared panels
Quite unique as this system heats by convection not by circulating heat.
Heaters of this type emit electromagnetic waves which we feel on our skin. This type of infrared heating is known as heat waves. Infrared waves when in contact with an object it produces heat as the atoms/molecules vibrate. Here’s the thing (apparently) infrared heat panels do not respond negatively to open windows or doors. Imagine breathing fresh clean air whilst still enjoying the heat from the panels! It’s like feeling the sun's warmth without the effect of harmful UV rays.
It sounds like these panels are a very efficient, effective, and healthy way to heat a property.
The changes in boiler legislation are having a positive impact on the heating industry in the UK. Manufacturers are helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (C02) and other greenhouse gases by producing more energy-efficient products. In addition, introducing the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) will ensure that all privately rented homes meet a minimum energy efficiency standard, making them cheaper and easier to heat. These changes are positive for both the environment and consumers alike. Let’s not forget that any system requires sound property insulation.
It’s clear that we are moving away from fossil fuels with renewable energy taking its place. The boiler ban in new-build properties won't necessarily be a complete panacea that saves the planet, but it suggests we’re going in the right direction.
If you're interested in installing a new boiler, then contact Serviceteam to book a professional gas engineer to survey your requirements.
Ready to get started? Contact us and ask for a quotation.